Jersey Drivers

how to park - in Jersey

I don’t suppose many people have spotted any similarities between Brixton (South London, not Devon) and Jersey (Channel Islands, not USA).

I’ve lived in both places (and quite close to the alternatives in Devon and USA too) and I can tell you there is at least one.

It’s not that Jersey’s beaches are replicated in Brixton market; it’s not the striking similarity between the Barrier Block (where I lived for a few months) and the Waterfront.

No – it’s the drivers.

If you were to take a short trip down Brixton Road, past the tube station and then along Stockwell Road, you may opt to indicate your intention to turn left.

Well if you did you’d be on your own.

Indicating in SW9 is a sure sign of a lack in the cojones department.
A sign that you’re a namby-pamby, lackey of the Peelers, who feels it necessary to signal your intentions.

It is not the Brixton Way.

No, the Brixton way is to lurch dramatically across the road in front of mere law-abiders, to pursue your innate right to swerve about all over the place in your BMW until everyone else gets out of the way.

The Jersey Way is not dissimilar.

There’s less lurching perhaps, and markedly fewer BMWs (the island’s drivers seem to prefer Porsches and Mercs) but there’s a comparable lack of indicating.

There is, on the other hand, a lot of pulling up short to veer onto the nearest pavement to pop into a shop, as walking more than five steps from car to retail outlet is anathema to your true Bean.
I know this, as it’s an impulse I have to fight myself.

There are, however, differences in driving attitudes – the main one being the average approach to a T-junction.

Pull up at a main road on any street in central London, and you sit there whistling until you decide to risk your bumpers.
You just have to grit your teeth and stick your car out into the oncoming traffic until someone is intimidated into letting you out.

It may seem foolhardy, but it’s the only way you’re going to get out of the minor road before midnight.

Drive like this in Jersey, especially with English number plates, and abuse is all you’ll get.

In Jersey, commuters motoring down main roads at a top speed of 40mph with 3 or 4 cars pootling along behind them, will happily stop to let out a motorist waiting at a T-junction.

Had the main-street commuter not stopped, the waiting motorist would have had to sit a mere 5 seconds longer before being able to exit the minor road without disrupting the journeys of 4 or 5 other people.

But this is another example of the Jersey Way.

It may not be logical, but it’s quite sweet – as long as you’re not one of the 3 or 4 motorists stuck in the queue, who are forced into politeness when you’d far rather bully your way to work.

And don’t get me started on parking.
I think the photo above speaks for itself.

I’ve blanked out the number plate to spare any red faces… although I’m not sure that Range Rover drivers have the capacity to feel embarrassed.

About Beta Mum

Here you can find the ramblings of a trapeze artist turned journalist who ran away from the circus to join the BBC. Cathy "mine's a Kir Royale" Keir then spent thirteen years working in Jersey, Guernsey and Devon, before downgrading to what you see before you. She has contributed articles to The Guardian, The Stage and Television Today, Junior Magazine and both the BBC and Bad Mothers Club websites. She has two children who think women can’t be prime ministers. She blames herself.
This entry was posted in Beta Mum's Blog. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Jersey Drivers

  1. Iota says:

    I wouldn’t like to see that driver reverse into a parking space.

  2. Sass E-mum says:

    Or what about indicating when in the middle of the manouvre. Already committed, already across the road, flip on the ‘indicators’.

    People ignore double yellow lines in Whitstable – and park within 15feet of junctions. Drives me nuts. I’m going to start taking photos…

Leave a Reply